By Mike Piazza
Wishing your work days away is a terrible way to go through your career. Life is too short to be miserable at your workplace. Even at the earliest part of my working life, pulling my lawn mower behind my bicycle in the neighborhood, I realized if I didn’t do the job correctly or carried a wrong perspective that people would never invite me back to cut their grass again. Work at that time was referral based, and today is no different. The wrong perspective will severely hurt your career and business.
Whether you’re at the very beginning of your working life, midway, or near the zenith of your career, you can’t afford to focus on all the work that you did yesterday. So, it’s important to understand that companies and customers need your best NOW. If you are haphazardly going through your work day with motion but no emotion, direction, and purpose, chances are you will never arrive at your destination. Unless your father owns the company, moving up or being promoted will not be in your future. Let me share some wisdom from my 30 years plus experience with you as a leader in the workplace.
If at all possible, find a mentor or mentors. You must have a trusted guide speaking into your life that has been there before you. This makes your journey to where you’re going much more obtainable. This mentor should be someone that can see your blind spots and help you overcome YOU. I challenge you to try this for 30 days and see if your life doesn’t get better. The beautiful part about having a mentor is that they can support many areas of your life, not just your career.
Learn to say yes. FEAR has a way of keeping you stuck. Every time I approach a leader with a new career move or even a promotion, I can see fear operating in their life. I’m sad to say many times fear won the battle. Next time you’re faced with this challenge, sit down with your mentor and discuss the pros and cons of your career opportunity. Don’t let fear rule your decisions.
Reinvent yourself. What steered you to where you are will not get you where you’re going. The best sales person doesn’t always make the best sales manager. You will need new and innovative skill sets to meet the challenges that will come at you in the future. Staying status quo is not an option. There are many resources available to help expand and sharpen your skill set. Even if you just won sales person of the year, forget about that! “It’s a new year!”
It takes sacrifice. Many times we see people that have arrived at the pinnacle of their career or business success only to find what they fail to see is the sacrifice, effort, and determination that went into the success of that career or business. Overnight successes are rare. I can’t recall any, so be ready for the mountains and valleys along the way.
You must intentionally neglect other opportunities. Do you want to achieve your ultimate goals at the higher level of excellence? If the answer is yes, you will have to put down some unproductive things. Binge watching six hours a day of your latest TV series, or trying to manage seven fantasy football leagues is not necessary. You will never arrive at your destination with these many distractions and time wasting activities. Yes, you should have some fun, but it should be balanced. A better more productive tomorrow awaits you with your next decision, so choose wisely!
Lastly, if it’s strictly about the money, chances are you will never reach your fullest potential. Money is the reason we show up for work, but if it’s the only reason, you will quickly lose interest and your work will suffer. As one of my favorite quotes from Howard Thurman states, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself, what makes you come alive? Because what the world needs is more people ALIVE!”